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The OT.com J. R. R. Tolkien & Middle Earth Discussion Thread

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Following up on Ender's suggestion, here is a thread dedicated to the discussion of all things J. R. R. Tolkien & Middle Earth (which is probably my favorite fictional "universe" of all time). If you'd like to discuss anything about the books, the film adaptations, the Middle Earth universe itself, Professor Tolkien, or anything else related, this is the place to do it!

To kick off the discussion, since I've provided a positive review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey elsewhere, I thought I'd mention a few things here that I didn't like about the film. (Spoilers ahead.)

1. The portrayal of the dwarves. This is one of the things that consistently annoyed me in Jackson's LOTR trilogy. Tolkien's dwarves are not particularly crude, vulgar or gluttonous, and there is no reason to portray them as such. Jackson's dwarves come across, much of the time, as a bunch of dumb jocks that like to drink a lot, scratch themselves inappropriately, burp and fart, and generally behave in a riotous frat-boy manner. Tolkien's dwarves were much more elegant, refined, and cultured. In my own fanedits of the LOTR trilogy, I cut down significantly on Gimli's dumbness. Eventually, I plan to apply the same treatment to The Hobbit trilogy.

Relatedly, the dwarves were also supposed to be the finest craftsmen in the world, so why is their architecture routinely depicted as square and blocky, while that of the elves is graceful, complex, and fluid? This is somewhat irksome to me.

2. Thorin's crappy attitude. Why did he have to be such a jerk this early in the narrative? There's plenty of time to explore that side of his character later on when he and Bilbo have their falling out over the Archenstone incident. Also, what's the deal with his raging anti-Elven prejudice? Again, there's room for Dwarven-Elven tensions to rise later on, in Mirkwood. There was absolutely no reason whatsoever to inject tension between Thorin's people and Elrond's. This was not only contrived, but it actually disrupted the flow of the narrative, IMO.

3. I liked the inclusion of Radagast, and Sylvester McCoy delivered a bang-up performance, as I knew he would. That being said, I feel they went a little over-the-top with these scenes. Why did the stuff in Radagast's house have to be so cutesy? And I could've done without the Warg-Bunny-Sled chase sequence. Just show Radagast heading off on sled and the wargs chasing after him, and then cut back to the party. No need to have an extended chase sequence, especially when it looks so silly.

4. The Great Goblin was handled well, overall. I didn't even mind his brief little musical number; it fits well with the lighter tone of the original novel. But what was up with his dialogue when confronting (and then being slain by) Gandalf? It seemed really poorly-written and out of place.

I'm sure there are others, but those are the only ones that spring to mind at present.

By contrast, here are a couple things that I've heard lots of fans complain about, but that didn't bother me in the least.

1. The expansion of the Azog character and accompanying storyline. This doesn't bother me because it takes an element that was present in the novel (the confrontation between Thorin's company and the Goblin-Warg alliance) and works it into the broader narrative in a way that adds depth and tension. Is it a wholesale invention of Jackson's? Sure, but it fits the story well IMO, and doesn't work against the spirit of the novel or undermind any of the characters.

2. Slight adjustments like Bilbo arguing with the Trolls instead of Gandalf, the dwarves putting up more of a fight rather than being captured immediately, etc. These changes were absolutely necessary, I think, in order to translate the material into the cinematic medium. Certain aspects of the Hobbit work "as written" in print, but wouldn't really translate well, and so require a bit of massaging. I think the development team did a good job of doing that without going overboard, in most cases.

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Nice points. I don't think certain things bothered me as much, but I'm less of a purist than many. I was actually less bothered by the dwarves' slovenly portrayal (I think expanding upon their more materialistic portrayal, which is made pretty clear in the books), and was bothered more (though not much) by some, like Thorin, having short beards. I'm trying to think of which architecture you are referring to, however, as the only time I can recall seeing anything is in the Mines of Moria, and there we see little because it is so rundown. However, you are correct in your assessment that the elves are portrayed as very elegant, certainly superior to the dwarves in most respects.

I agree that the Azog elements were particularly well done. I thought it tied things in nicely, and I'd say the same for the many other additional elements not found in the novel, such as the council with Saruman, Gandalf, Galadriel, and Elrond, or the Radagast's encounter with the Necromancer.

Which fanedits did you do? I hadn't realized you'd released any (and truthfully I haven't even checked any LOTR edits out, but that could change). I'm truly interested.

Questions regarding the trilogy and Jackson's films:

How do you feel about the Nazguls' portrayal?

How do you feel about Faramir?

What do you think about ommitting the Scouring of the Shire and Tom Bombadil?

In the same vein, how do you feel about the changes to Saruman's demise?

There are aspects of the film I enjoyed, and aspects of the books I enjoyed, and there are times when I can't even tell which I prefer. For instance, I actually think I prefer the self-doubting Aragorn. And Faramir, while I prefer the truly noble character in the books, is interesting on film as a conflicted character driven by his desires to please his father.

I would also love to hear from xhonzi on his perception of the good and bad edits.

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Xhonzi said:

Part of the rumour I heard was that Jackson & Co. had access to the partial rewrite (as far as I know, it's not publicly available) when formulating the new movies.  It makes me wonder what parts of the movie come from there, especially Bilbo's reasoning with the trolls.  But if he were rewriting it, why would he leave the silliness in?

I was under the impression pretty much anything anyone could want to see/read of the two versions of The Hobbit was covered and published in the nifty two volume History of the Hobbit released a few years back, but I could very well be mistaken.

 

darth_ender said:


Anyway, yes, I'd heard he had been at least planning for a rewrite, though I didn't know he'd made much progress. Interestingly, another thing I'd read was that he planned on changing all references to "goblins" in the Hobbit to "orcs," as they are supposed to be the same creatures. However, many have interpreted them to be smaller and less fearsome, given their more childish nature in the books. But initially the distinction is not so clear.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orc_(Middle-earth)#Orcs.2C_Goblins.2C_and_Uruks

Thanks for the link!

Right after seeing The Hobbit I mentioned to my three friends I saw it with that I thought it was interesting that the film split orcs and goblins into two different creatures, when in the books they are the same thing, having been called goblins in The Hobbit, and changed to orcs in LOTR (including Tolkien's forward, which recounts events of The Hobbit, now using the term orc in place of goblin). Upon mentioning this, all three of my friends slowly turned their heads toward me, eyebrows raised, and two of them in unison said, "No they're not! They've always been different!" They then explained that the Uruk-hai were a cross breed between goblins and orcs, and that goblins are stronger than orcs, but die when exposed to sunlight, and that the significance of the uruk-hai were that they had the mixed strength of goblins along with the orcs ability to walk in daylight.

What??? Where did they get this from? Their sureness and detail on the matter made me highly doubt what I thought I knew on the subject, but Ender's link confirms I was correct. Is this alternative take on the two species and origin of the Uruk-hai explained in the LOTR movies or something? I've read the book numerous times, but I have only seen the movies a couple of times, and the only extended edition I have seen is Fellowship, meanwhile my buddies are LOTR film fans and have never read Tolkien's works.

 

I encourage you to read the books, xhonzi.

Seconded, though you've already read them. I'd encourage anyone who hasn't read them to give them a shot.

For years you had two kinds of people, those who have read LOTR, and those who hadn't. The films have created a kind of annoying frustrating situation where you have thousands of of die hard "LOTR fans" who have never read the books and admit they rather hate them.

 

You might enjoy the differences and the resulting approaches Jackson and Co. took to the different films. I think splitting it (as Kbrana said) was the right choice for Jackson, and the only childishness that really did bug me was the bird poop on Radagast.

That annoyed me a bit too, seemed a little over the top. I also hated the inclusion of the anachronistic golf and croquet references. I think the golf joke worked fine for the book, but in a film made to be a prequel to the Lord of the Rings movies, it was really out of place.

Another specific complaint I had was the "good morning" conversation between Gandalf and Bilbo. It was such a fun little conversation in the book that really setup the quirkiness of Gandalf's character, and they absolutely butchered it.

 

Bit of trivia: Gandalf can't remember the names of the two blue wizards in the film. This is likely because their names were not completely consistent, and the only sources for their names are from incomplete stories. It was a joke based on the two different versions of their names.
Source: http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Blue_Wizards

That was my assumption too, but maybe Akwat's take on them not owning the rights is accurate, I hadn't even thought of that myself.

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The seventh doctor Radagast has a bird's nest on his head. Why wouldn't there be bird poop? ;)

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CP3S said: 

I encourage you to read the books, xhonzi.

Seconded. Very good stuff

I'VE READ TEH BOOKS!

 

I'll post other thoughts later. 

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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You know, xhonzi, I tihnk you really ought to give teh books a read. Tehy're very good ;)

@C3PS, in The Fellowship film, Saruman says the Uruk-hai are a cross of orcs and goblin-men. In the novel they are said to be a cross of orcs and men. I'm assuming your friends were relying on the film as their source. As for goblins being stronger, I've never read anything, nor remember seeing anything on film that implied that; goblins have always appeared to be weaker when any distinction was made, it seems. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruk-hai#Adaptations

The History of the Hobbit...hadn't seen that before. That looks really cool!

@SilverWook, yeah, but...but...it's just gross!!!

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I'm trying to think of which architecture you are referring to, however, as the only time I can recall seeing anything is in the Mines of Moria, and there we see little because it is so rundown.

My bad; "architecture" wasn't really the word I was looking for. I guess I had in mind the entire "look" of dwarven products throughout the films, including armor, weapons, rings, and architecture (in Moria). It's all very square and blocky, not very elegant or sophisticated. But this is a minor complaint; it's the "dumb jock" portrayals that annoy me the most.

Which fanedits did you do? I hadn't realized you'd released any (and truthfully I haven't even checked any LOTR edits out, but that could change). I'm truly interested.

I worked on my LOTR fanedits on and off for about three years, and just finished the trilogy last year. The idea was to bring them into closer conformity with the books, which has been done by several other faneditors, but none quite to my liking. I'm quite happy with my versions, but I never bothered releasing them online.

    Questions regarding the trilogy and Jackson's films:

    How do you feel about the Nazguls' portrayal?

    How do you feel about Faramir?

    What do you think about ommitting the Scouring of the Shire and Tom Bombadil?

    In the same vein, how do you feel about the changes to Saruman's demise?

Here goes:

1. I thought the Nazgul were handled quite well. Was Jackson's handling of them controversial? If so, I'm drawing a blank; I don't recall any instances of gross discontinuity with their portrayal in the books.

2. I really, really disliked the alteration of Faramir's character. It's tied with Frodo's and Sam's "breakup" in ROTK for my most hated revision of the trilogy. I'm not really a hyper-purist and am comfortable with a fair amount of adaptational adjustment (provided it's beneficial to the film and done in good taste), but significantly altering a character should be taboo, IMO. Relatedly, I didn't care for the self-doubting Aragorn either, though it's by no means as offensive a change as turning Faramir into a Boromir-clone. Unsurprisingly, both of these changes have been either eliminated or significantly mitigated in my edits.

3. I had no problems with the ommission of Bombadil and the Scouring. As much as I love Tolkien and Fellowship, I must say the Bombadil material has always felt very out of place to me, and certainly would've been disruptive and bewildering in a cinematic adaptation. As for the scouring (which I love), I think Jackson & Co. could have handled the material really well, but where would they have put it? At the end of ROTK? Pretty anti-climactic. I would've liked to see the sequence filmed and released as a special feature, but I realize that would have been lots of effort for very little payoff from a production standpoint.

4. Saruman's demise. :Sigh: "The Voice of Saruman" is my very favorite chapter of all three books, and I didn't care for how it was handled in the film. I didn't mind moving the assassination to this point in the narrative; the ommission of the Scouring made that pretty much necessary. But the confrontation itself was butchered. None of the subtelty or magic of the sequence as written made it onto the screen. In the end I left this sequence in my edits slightly trimmed, but I really wish it had been handled better.

Right after seeing The Hobbit I mentioned to my three friends I saw it with that I thought it was interesting that the film split orcs and goblins into two different creatures, when in the books they are the same thing, having been called goblins in The Hobbit, and changed to orcs in LOTR (including Tolkien's forward, which recounts events of The Hobbit, now using the term orc in place of goblin). Upon mentioning this, all three of my friends slowly turned their heads toward me, eyebrows raised, and two of them in unison said, "No they're not! They've always been different!" They then explained that the Uruk-hai were a cross breed between goblins and orcs, and that goblins are stronger than orcs, but die when exposed to sunlight, and that the significance of the uruk-hai were that they had the mixed strength of goblins along with the orcs ability to walk in daylight.

Their confusion is somewhat understandable; the Goblin-Orc-Uruk relationship is a little murky, to say the least. IIRC, here's how it works in Tolkien's writings: Goblins and orcs are just two different names for the same creature. Cross an orc with a human, however, and you get a half-orc. Saruman's Uruk-Hai are a particular breed of half-orc that were stronger, smarter, and larger than regular orcs and could also withstand sunlight. Another product of Saruman's "orc husbandry" was a race called "goblin-men" which are only mentioned once or twice, and about whom very little is known. Most likely, they too were a specific breed of half-orc, distinct from both Uruk-Hai and from garden-variety half-orcs. (In the FOTR movie, Gandalf tells Elrond that the Uruk-Hai are a product of Saruman's cross-breeding orcs with goblin-men. I'm pretty sure, from a book standpoint, that this is erroneous.)

I also hated the inclusion of the anachronistic golf and croquet references. I think the golf joke worked fine for the book, but in a film made to be a prequel to the Lord of the Rings movies, it was really out of place.

Ordinarily I would agree on this point. But seeing as how these references were straight out of the book, somehow I can't bring myself to fault them. I couldn't help but smile when I heard these references in the theatre.

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I knew you did, because I am pretty sure we've talked about them before. I just followed Ender's lead without thinking, then right after making my post, I read yours saying you have, realized of course you have, and edited my post. Must have missed my edit.

I think your comments on having just learned The Hobbit underwent major revisions struck us an something that would come from someone who was not yet a Tolkien initiate. Must be one of those guys who skips all the forwards and other pages at the beginning of a book and skip right to Chapter One, otherwise you would have read Tolkien's in universe explanation of the true events that took place in The Hobbit and Bilbo's lies that were found in the book and found yourself scratching your head because the true events were what you read in the book. In other words,

C3PS said

"I encourage you to read the forward to the book, xhonzi." 

Fixed.

Oh yeah, and the appendices are fun too.

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darth_ender said:

@C3PS, in The Fellowship film, Saruman says the Uruk-hai are a cross of orcs and goblin-men. In the novel they are said to be a cross of orcs and men. I'm assuming your friends were relying on the film as their source. As for goblins being stronger, I've never read anything, nor remember seeing anything on film that implied that; goblins have always appeared to be weaker when any distinction was made, it seems. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruk-hai#Adaptations

Yeah, they are definitely 100% dependent on the movies for anything they know about LOTR. That is weird. Any ideas where Jackson came up with the orcs and goblin-men thing? What the heck is a "goblin-man" according to the movies? In the book "goblin-men" is what some characters actually call the Uruk-hai, IIRC. So they are basically claiming Uruk-hai are a cross between orcs and uruk-hai, right?

Anyway, I guess that means they were completely right then, following Jackson's lore.

 

The History of the Hobbit...hadn't seen that before. That looks really cool!

I know, right! That was a book I was extremely excited about and couldn't wait for in the months prior to its release. Then volume one finally came out and I figured I could wait an extra few weeks to get it at a reduced used price off amazon. I guess I got sidetracked or used to waiting for it, now it has been out for years, and I still haven't managed to get it. Still really want it.

 

darth_ender said:


    What do you think about ommitting the Scouring of the Shire and Tom Bombadil?

I think it is good Tom got cut. The scouring of the Shire is one of my favorite parts of the book. In fact, sometimes I will just pick up the book and read that section when I feel like a small dose of Tolkien without a big commitment.

I feel like it is a really important part of the story and really shows the growth and maturity the hobbit characters went through during their adventure. They left scared and nervous young hobbits, and returned to something their former selves would have once considered a nightmare, but now they laugh in its face and run it off. However, ROTK already felt a bit bogged down at the end, it would have been hard to find a place to put it, and it would have messed with the pacing of the film. Like Akwat said, it would have been pretty anti-climactic being shoved in after the climax of the film.

 

@ Akwat. I've always wanted to do an edit that follows the book chronology of events. Did you do that in yours?

In fact, since I am very ADHD and have a very hard time sitting through 3 hour plus long movies in one sitting, I've always wanted to edit all three extended editions of the LOTR films into 40-50 minute episodes like a television series, ordering and editing together each episode as closely as possible to chapters from the book (for example, for a whole episode we'd follow Frodo and Sam, rather than flipping back and forth between various character's stories every few minutes as done in the films. Also wanted to add a brief title intro to make them feel authentic.

Watching The Hobbit has kind of re-sparked my interest in doing something like this, only now with the three Hobbit films as season one of the series. I'd be a lot of work though.

 

Akwat said:

Goblins and orcs are just two different names for the same creature. Cross an orc with a human, however, and you get a half-orc. Saruman's Uruk-Hai are a particular breed of half-orc that were stronger, smarter, and larger than regular orcs and could also withstand sunlight. Another product of Saruman's "orc husbandry" was a race called "goblin-men" which are only mentioned once or twice, and about whom very little is known. Most likely, they too were a specific breed of half-orc, distinct from both Uruk-Hai and from garden-variety half-orcs. (In the FOTR movie, Gandalf tells Elrond that the Uruk-Hai are a product of Saruman's cross-breeding orcs with goblin-men. I'm pretty sure, from a book standpoint, that this is erroneous.)

Ah, I knew of the few different breeds of half-orcs, but I thought goblin-men was used to describe Uruk-Hai when told from the perspective of characters who didn't know what a Uruk-Hai was. I took it as more of a descriptive name for something that appears to be a cross between an orc/goblin and a human (which of course, was a Uruk).

And yeah, I am sure the films saying they are a cross between goblin-men and orcs is entirely erroneous from the book standpoint. Clearly Jackson and Co made the decision to separate the species of goblins and orcs long before An Unexpected Journey.

 

I also hated the inclusion of the anachronistic golf and croquet references. I think the golf joke worked fine for the book, but in a film made to be a prequel to the Lord of the Rings movies, it was really out of place.

Ordinarily I would agree on this point. But seeing as how these references were straight out of the book, somehow I can't bring myself to fault them. I couldn't help but smile when I heard these references in the theatre.

I know they came from Tolkien, and I think they fit fine with the tone of the book just fine. I just fell they were something that made it fit poorly with the LOTR films. Leaving them out of the movie, when they left out so many other things, would have been preferable to me.

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@ Akwat. I've always wanted to do an edit that follows the book chronology of events. Did you do that in yours?

Naw, I considered doing something like that but it's already been done (by Kerr), with mixed results IMO. Some of the installments work well, but others just drag (especially the Frodo-Sam stuff after the breaking of the fellowship). So I stuck with the narrative flow established by Jackson & Co. as a base, and edited it as necessary. Certainly not as novel an approach, but more watchable I think. (No disrespect intended toward Kerr, BTW. He's an extremely gifted faneditor and as a book fan I thoroughly enjoyed watching his edits...I just don't think, cinematically speaking, that particular approach works.)

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Is Kerr's edit decently edited? I'm not a huge fan of fanedits. The problem is anyone who has a computer can make one, and more often than not they are painfully amateurish and extremely poor quality.

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Kerr's edits are very well edited. He's one of the more competent editors out there.

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Ah, I knew of the few different breeds of half-orcs, but I thought goblin-men was used to describe Uruk-Hai when told from the perspective of characters who didn't know what a Uruk-Hai was. I took it as more of a descriptive name for something that appears to be a cross between an orc/goblin and a human (which of course, was a Uruk).

I looked into this a little further. Evidently, the term "goblin-men" only occurs once in Tolkien's writings. It's mentioned by Gamling during the Battle of the Hornburg:

But these creatures of Isengard, these half-orcs and goblin-men that the foul craft of Saruman has bred, they will not quail at the sun...

So, since the reference is pretty ambiguous, there's room for interpretation. On the one hand, would Gamling really have extensive knowledge of orc breeds? On the other hand, he seems to regard at least two different "types" in Saruman's army, which he would've been looking directly at. So perhaps there were two or more visually distinct breeds of half-orc in the attacking army...

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CP3S said:

I knew you did, because I am pretty sure we've talked about them before. I just followed Ender's lead without thinking, then right after making my post, I read yours saying you have, realized of course you have, and edited my post. Must have missed my edit.

*AHEM* I made my post at 4:00 XDT.  You made your edit at 4:02 XDT.*

I think your comments on having just learned The Hobbit underwent major revisions struck us an something that would come from someone who was not yet a Tolkien initiate. Must be one of those guys who skips all the forwards and other pages at the beginning of a book and skip right to Chapter One, otherwise you would have read Tolkien's in universe explanation of the true events that took place in The Hobbit and Bilbo's lies that were found in the book and found yourself scratching your head because the true events were what you read in the book.

1. I probably did skip the forward.  As stupid as this may sound, I usually only read the forwards of a book once I've finished the proper portion of it and I want to read more about it.  Especially if the forward is more than a couple of pages.  Yes, it's like having appetizers after the meal... but what are you going to do?

2. I learned about the revised chapter many years ago, perhaps on this very forum.  What I didn't realize until the other day was that it was part of a larger rewrite effort that went unpublished.  I see Tolkienites mention often the revised chapter, but I've not read about the total rewrite before.

3. I'm not a Tolkienite.  I consider myself a casual LotR fan... probably know more about it than the average bear, but not compared to actual Tolkienites.  But it doesn't mean I haven't read teh books, seen the movies, bought some action figures, etc...

 

 

In other words,

C3PS said

"I encourage you to read the forward to the book, xhonzi." 

Fixed.

Oh yeah, and the appendices are fun too.

And then, and only then, I will be a Jedi Knight?  Okay, I guess I'll go home and read the forward.  Then I can be a cool kid again.

RE: Ocs and Goblins

I don't know where I picked this up, because it's apparently not in the movies or the books, but I thought the same thing about orcs and goblics- that orcs were slightly larger, tougher, and could be in daylight, and goblins lived underground.  If it doesn't have a tail, it's not a monkey, and if it doesn't have a tail- it's an ape, kind of thing.  I was always a bit confused what Azog and... Sloth were.  They plainly aren't regular orcs/goblins and they're not uruks...

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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ChangesI liked in PJ's LotR:

  • Prologue (had something like this been in the book, I probably would have read FotR on my first try instead of my fifth)
  • No Tom B.
  • No songs
  • Less history (of the, "I know you're about to do something awesome, but let me tell you where this town came from" kind
  • etc... (I'm having a hard time recalling specific examples, but most of the stuff that was left out I thought deserved to be left out)

 

Changes I'm mixed on:

  • Elves at Helm's Deep - I like that the Elves make one last stand with the humans, but it does seem to deflate the 'we're all alone' element of it
  • Scourging of the Shire  - As everyone else already said, it's a wonderful epilogue that shows how much the Hobbits have grown on their adventures, but I just can't see how it would play in the movie
  • Death of Saruman - Though the EE versions of the movies are the only ones I care about, I thought it was odd that he didn't die in TTT, since his death was going to feature in RotK, but then it didn't until the EE.  Ah, well...

 

Changes I didn't care for:

  • Pelennor fields - Man's victory at Helm's Deep was already slightly stolen, I think it was a bad decision to not let Man triumph more clearly at this battle.  As I recall from the book, this is when armies of men took stewardship of Middle Earth seriously and proved that they could shoulder the responsibility going into the 4th age.  I think the movie really shortchanges this.  Especially to the degree that the ghosts just take everything out, but more about them later.
  • Hmmm... I think there were others, but that is the big one, I guess...

 

Changes I wish they would have made:

  • The deus-ghost ex montes.  I really think it's cheating that these guys aren't mentioned until the (literal) 11th hour.  And since the prologue was added, it seems the perfect time to mention that Elendil & Isildur were ticked that a large army that promised their support chickened out and ran at the last moment.  Any kind of foreshadowing would have helped.  Otherwise, just pull out a satellite weapons platform and nuke the evil armies from space, whydonchya.
  • I like stories that aren't too confined.  I wish the ring were actually lost for more of the third age.  Apparenty, it only had a handfull (pun?  I can't quite tell) of owners over the thousands of years.  Sauron -> Isildur -> Smeagol/Gollum -> Bilbo -> Frodo -> Lava.  I'd prefer to think that its history was not so well known.  A minor quibble.
  • They could have made the whole Eagles vs Eye of Sauron thing clearer so that people wouldn't pat themselves so hard on the back for that whole "Why don't they just fly the whole way to Mt Doom" quip.

 

Well, that's the best I can do in a single sitting several years after I last watched the movies.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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An aside- was the shot of Bilbo looking at old-and-busted Narsil in the trailer but not in the film?

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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Nice list. I especially agree about the ghost army--too convenient without any foreshadowing, and then so overpoweringly awesome that it seemed a little cheap. As I recall, their role in the books was more of intimidation in order to capture the ships rather than to charge off them and completely destroy everything.

I was a little disappointed that the Witch King was so much more powerful than Gandalf. I suppose the idea is to paint the battle as truly frightening, even for him, but really I think he as Gandalf the White feared only Sauron.

The matter of ring ownership is pretty well understood, I thought. I think the movies conveyed it exactly as Tolkein had spelled out in his books.

All your other points are well made, and I share in most of them.

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darth_ender said:

The matter of ring ownership is pretty well understood, I thought. I think the movies conveyed it exactly as Tolkein had spelled out in his books.

 Precisely why I listed it as a change I wish they had made.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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Sheesh, I keep misunderstanding you!

By the way, you really ought to try reading the books.





Don't shoot, don't shoot!!!

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xhonzi said:

An aside- was the shot of Bilbo looking at old-and-busted Narsil in the trailer but not in the film?

Yup. I kept an eye out for that sequence in the theatre, but it never materialized. Here's hoping it shows up in the extended edition...

Every 27th customer will get a ball-peen hammer, free!

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Akwat Kbrana said:

xhonzi said:

An aside- was the shot of Bilbo looking at old-and-busted Narsil in the trailer but not in the film?

Yup. I kept an eye out for that sequence in the theatre, but it never materialized. Here's hoping it shows up in the extended edition...

Is there any buzz about extended versions of the new films?  I think that the decision to go to three would have meant they could fit any 'extended' material into the theatrical release.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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Time

darth_ender said:

I keep misunderstanding you!

 Why is that?


By the way, you really ought to try reading the books.





Don't shoot, don't shoot!!!

*bang*

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Evidently, there will be an extended release with an additional 20-25 minutes of footage. I presume the same will apply to the following two installments, as well.

Every 27th customer will get a ball-peen hammer, free!

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Akwat Kbrana said:

Evidently, there will be a theatrical release with an additional 20-25 minutes of footage. I presume the same will apply to the following two installments, as well.

I think you're reading that too fast.  (or half fast)  The only mention of a theatrical release I see is the standard one at 2:40.

But an extended edition on the way.  Yay?  I can't say I'm excited about it being longer... but perhaps it will have more goodness, and I can always make room for more goodness.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!